Ethical dilemma – The Invisible Patient

Ethical Dilemma

Faculty will lead the discussion by posting first.

After reviewing The Invisible Patients documentary, define/describe in detail an ethical dilemma that was experienced by the NP. Please note, there are several ethical issues, so there should be diversity in the responses. Explain how you would have handled the situation.

  • How is the NP in the documentary a Disruptive Innovator?
  • Discuss if there is a relationship between your personal beliefs and values and this ethical dilemma/barrier.
  • Describe at least one mechanism to overcome the barrier discussed.
  • Examine the potential cost and benefits to this barrier.

Remember there is no right or wrong answer for this ethical question. Suggested reference Look at the Nuremburg Code (US Department of Health & Human Services, 2005; Washington, 2012) as it was the major start of ethics in research and that can carry over to nursing practice.

US Department of Health & Human Services. (2005). The Nuremberg code.

Retrieved from

Note: Review South University’s Online Participation Policy, Helpful Tips, and Late Work Guidelines available by clicking on the South University Policy and Guidelines navigation tab under Course Home. The late policy applies to late discussion question responses.

Expert Solution Preview

The ethical dilemma experienced by the NP in The Invisible Patients documentary raises critical concerns about medical professionalism and the delivery of healthcare services to vulnerable populations. In this essay, I will describe the ethical dilemma faced by the NP, examine the relationship between personal beliefs/values and the dilemma, propose mechanisms to overcome the barriers, and analyze the potential costs and benefits of these solutions.

The ethical issue experienced by the NP in The Invisible Patients documentary relates to the conflict between patient autonomy and beneficence. The NP was working with homeless patients who were unwilling to undergo diagnostic tests that could be life-saving, such as mammography, colonoscopy, and blood tests. The NP faced a dilemma in deciding whether to respect patients’ autonomy or act in their best interest by persuading them to take the tests. In this case, the NP acted as a disruptive innovator by challenging the traditional medical model that ignores the social and economic factors that affect patients’ health outcomes.

To handle the situation, I would take a patient-centered approach that respects patients’ autonomy while promoting healthcare access and equity. I would explain to patients the importance of the tests and engage them in shared decision-making that considers their values, preferences, and beliefs. I would also involve other members of the healthcare team, community organizations, and social services to address the social determinants of health that affect patients’ ability to access care.

My personal beliefs/values align with the principles of justice, equity, and respect for human rights. I believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right that should be accessible to all, irrespective of social status, race, ethnicity, or gender. As an educator and healthcare professional, I value lifelong learning, cultural competence, and ethical practice.

To overcome the ethical dilemma/barrier, one mechanism would be to apply ethical frameworks such as the Nuremberg code, which emphasizes informed consent, avoidance of harm, and respect for autonomy and privacy. Another mechanism would be to adopt cultural humility and sensitivity to understand patients’ perspectives, values, and beliefs. This approach requires acknowledging power differentials that exist in the healthcare system and involving patients as partners in care.

The potential costs of these mechanisms may include increased time and resources to provide patient-centered care, increased workload for healthcare professionals, and ethical conflicts with institutional policies. However, the benefits may include improved patient outcomes, increased trust and satisfaction, and decreased healthcare costs in the long run.

In conclusion, the ethical dilemma experienced by the NP in The Invisible Patients documentary highlights the need for healthcare professionals to adopt a patient-centered approach that considers the social, economic, and cultural factors that influence patients’ health outcomes. By adopting ethical frameworks and cultural sensitivity, healthcare professionals can overcome the barriers to care and promote healthcare access and equity for all.

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